The Writer Mama two-year anniversary blog tour giveaway!


Guest blogger: Christina Katz

Post #31: Get Ready to Show Up

I’ve already written 60,000 words on how to develop and build an author platform before you head on out into the world to promote your book (AKA Get Known Before the Book Deal from Writer’s Digest Books). So here are seven things you need to do before the release of your first book that I haven’t said anywhere else.

These suggestions may be especially relevant to moms, since my first book came out after I was a mom. Or perhaps these are just good suggestions for every first-time author. I trust you’ll let me know.

  1. Stash some of your first advance check. You’ll need about five hundred bucks to spend on yourself. There is typically a rather impoverished period, which occurs between the time your book is turned in and when you receive your second advance check. You will really, really wish you could spend some money on yourself during this time of preparing for your book’s release, so stash the dough! You won’t be spending the money celebrating, but rather investing in yourself to prepare for your book launch and tour, but it’s okay to enjoy yourself too.
  2. You deserve a makeover. Take some of your stashed money and get a really great haircut (and color, if you need it), fresh makeup, and a couple of outfits that will look professional live and/or on television. Opt for neutral pants or skirts that can be mixed and matched with a few nicely tailored tops. Opt for colors that make you look and feel fabulous. Solids are typically preferred for television and red or orange are the worst choices. If you see something splashy and you just have to have it, just make sure you have a more conservative option too, in case you need it.
  3. A little snug? If you are a mom, there’s a pretty good chance that clothes that used to fit you no longer fit. If you are reluctant to face the truth, be sure to try on old standbys far in advance and get a second opinion of how you look from someone who will be brutally honest. Remember, three outfits on sale at your favorite local retailer will look just as nice as those that are not on sale. So why not save money and buy more? If you are attending a multi-day event, you’ll want to have several outfits on hand.
  4. Got your headshot yet? If not, you’ll want to get it about six months in advance of your book coming out. Headshots are well worth the money spent. This is why I devoted an entire chapter to this topic in Get Known (pages 201-206), though I don’t think I mentioned the best possible timing. If you can find a photographer who will let you use a variety of poses, even better. Six months ahead of your book’s publication date will give you maximum benefits from your shot.
  5. Learn about new millennium book marketing. Book promotion isn’t the same as it used to be and if you hop online to try to learn the latest principles, you will be surfing for a very long time (and it will interfere with what I’m about to suggest next). Three books you can’t afford to miss are Permission Marketing by Seth Godin, The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, and Plug Your Book by Steve Weber. After you read Get Known, these three books will give you lots of great book promo ideas. Think about social networking after you have your book done and these three books thoroughly earmarked and underlined.
  6. Adhere to a strict schedule of personal down time. I’m talking about one or two days a week that are absolutely sacred to you and your family when you don’t work. Or, okay, if you do work, it’s for an extremely limited length of time. Best scenario, you will turn off your computer and unplug your brain for at least 48 hours a week. Book promotion is exhausting and since businesses moved online, if you don’t reserve time to rest, you won’t. Just trust me on this. Rest is good. Start practicing now, especially if you haven’t gotten enough rest during your book-writing process. I predict that the publishing production process is going to speed up, and if you don’t take good care of yourself, you’ll pay with your health.
  7. Channel your most resilient self. Months before your book comes out, you need to start practicing shrugging while saying, “Oh well, I’ll get ‘em next time.” The reason is because things will often not go your way, my dear author. If you are a first-timer, you might hit 50% of the targets you pitch. Other times your inquiries might be met with annoyance, sarcasm, indifference, or silence. Don’t be surprised by this. Simply shrug and say, “NEXT!”

Just like everything else in authorhood, book promotion gets easier the more you do it. The first time through the paces is the hardest. You are bound to make mistakes, feel like a complete imposter, and even wonder why you ever thought you wanted to write the damn book in the first place. This too shall pass. Shoot for double the amount of opportunities you hope for and you will achieve a respectable amount of buzz for your book.

Good luck! I hope you let me know when your book is launched.

Today’s book drawing

To enter to win a signed, numbered copy of Writer Mama, answer one of the following questions in this blog’s comments.

Question One: Will you feel like you deserve the investment of time and money to prepare for your book’s launch?

Question Two: We’ve been through 31 days of preparation for authorhood. Was there anything you were curious about that I didn’t cover? Or anything you wanted to know more about? Please let me know. Thanks!

Thanks for participating! Only US residents, or folks with a U.S. mailing address can participate in the drawing. Please only enter once per day.

This concluded the Writer Mama Two-Year Anniversary Blog Tour Giveaway. Visit Writer Mama Riffs to view the entire list of blogs that were chosen for the tour.

Writer Mama by Christina KatzWriter Mama, How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids by Christina Katz (Writer’s Digest Books 2007)

Kids change your life, but they don’t necessarily have to end your career. Stay-at-home moms will love this handy guide to rearing a successful writing career while raising their children. The busy mom’s guide to writing life, this book gives stay-at-home moms the encouragement and advice they need including everything from getting started and finding ideas to actually finding time to do the work—something not easy to do with the pitter-patter of little feet. With advice on how to network and form a business, this nurturing guide covers everything a writer mama needs to succeed at her second job.

Christina Katz is also the author of the newly released Get Known Before the Book Deal, Use Your Personal Strengths to Grow an Author Platform (Writer’s Digest Books 2008).

25 Replies to “The Writer Mama two-year anniversary blog tour giveaway!”

  1. Hey Writer Mama, I was wondering if I could submit a question to you.

    I’m currently working on a blook (linked to my name) available for free on wordpress. It’s becoming popular much, much faster than I expected (and also not fast enough. Worried writer syndrome!) And people have asked so much about whether it’ll be available as paperback I’ve actually made the fearful decision to self publish it after the blog run is done and the story has been professionally edited.

    That leaves the terrifying prospect of getting the word out myself. O.O I’m pretty advanced as far as media goes. I already know to employ social networking, reviews, podcasts and radio shows if possible…but I was wondering if you had any creative ideas to add to that. Something extra special that I’m not thinking about.

    If you’d write a post about that, I’d be most grateful.

  2. Question One: Will you feel like you deserve the investment of time and money to prepare for your book’s launch?

    Yes!! If my book reaches the point of publication, then it has my whole heart (and energy and time) already invested in it, so the investment of time and money to prepare for the book’s launch will be very important to me. While it is important to me to help earn an income for my family, the other main purpose of my book is to share the story with others, so I want to try and reach as many readers as possible.

    Question Two: We’ve been through 31 days of preparation for authorhood. Was there anything you were curious about that I didn’t cover? Or anything you wanted to know more about? Please let me know. Thanks!

    Gosh, I think everything was covered and more! I think your new book will answer any remaining questions I have, so I can’t wait to read it once Amazon ships it to me!! Thanks for this tour!

  3. Will you feel like you deserve the investment of time and money to prepare for your book’s launch?

    Yes!!! It is a big endeavor that I am preparing to undertake but it feels SO right and I am SO ready for the challenge.

    Right now I’m working on finding the perfect balance of a part-time “day job” and/or creating some passive income that will allow me to focus on researching and writing my book!!

    Question Two: We’ve been through 31 days of preparation for authorhood. Was there anything you were curious about that I didn’t cover? Or anything you wanted to know more about? Please let me know. Thanks!

    I am curious what you think about self-publishing a small collection of essays/poems etc.

    I know I want to go with traditional publishing for my book, but I have been getting many requests for a collection of my parenting essays, which I’m told would make a lovely new mothers gift, and the ease and quick turn-around of self-publishing is looking very appealing.

    It’s feeling like it could be a great way to further expand my platform and possibly generate a little revenue while I’m working on my book.

    Love to hear your thoughts on that at some point!

    Thanks Christina. And thanks to everyone who hosted and followed along this month. Such a powerful and inspiring experience!!!


  4. I already have the Writer Mama book but I wanted to comment anyway. I think something really important is to believe in yourself. If you’ve dedicated all this time and effort to making your book a success then you have to believe what comes from it’s promotion is what you deserve. It won’t always be a huge raging success but keeping to realistic goals and knowing that you’ve done everything you can to launch it into success can hardly be counted as failure.

    Excellent topic for today!

  5. Robin – your blog is so clever and helpful!

    To answer the first question – absolutely! (and I look forward to it…)

    This has been a wonderful tour! I’ve learned more than I expected to. Thanks for your efforts and generous spirit, Christina – and to all who hosted. It was great to see your blogs…amazing! I’m following a number of them now.

  6. #1 – YES! I am learning more and more every day that I’m worth it.

    #2 – I’ve been sooooo busy, I still have to catch up on the whole tour. I have missed several days.

    The whole tour has been wonderful, and I thank you, Christina!

  7. Question 1: Ohhhh, yes! After all this hard work you describe, I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t feel I’m worth the investment of time and money at the point of publication. Thank you for pulling the veil off the process for us.

    Question 2: I’m also curious about self-publication–your thoughts. This has been a wonderful tour! Thank you for the opportunity to take a peek inside the Writer Mama story. Now, take your own advice and have a little down time :) I bet 48 hours of rest is looking pretty good right now!

    Robin, Thank you for hosting. Your site looks so informative. No need to enter me in today’s drawing (I already own WM).

  8. I just found this tour this week, so I’m catching up. What a great conversation!

    #1 – If I don’t think I deserve it, my husband will make me do it anyway! He’s wonderful. And since my book idea is about instilling true self-confidence in young women, I better practice what I preach!

    #2 – Like I said, I’m still catching up. Thank you for a wonderful resource.

  9. I’ve really enjoyed following this blog tour. I wish this last entry here had been earlier in the tour as I think it would have provoked more questions as readers returned to visit it. I would have enjoyed hearing more about investing in (and promoting) yourself.

  10. Thanks for this great post. I’m currently awaiting the July release of two books and learning as I go about what I can do to promote the books and myself in the meantime. Thanks for the great tips!

    #1. Yes. I KNOW that I’m worth it. I also know that my books deserve me to be in my best promoter form.

    #2. I just stumbled over here from an informative Tweet. I’ll catch up on some of the previous post. I will assume that I’ll learn much from them. Sometimes I don’t know that I have questions until I see the answers. :)


    Ps. I already won a copy on another blog, so feel free to leave me out of the drawing. I just wanted to participate.

  11. #1. I feel like I’m always going to be working! And yes, I think my book deserves to be published someday. Maybe if not by a major house, I’ll self-publish.

    I recently went to my first writers conference and it was an eye opener. Your posts add a lot more. Either way, I know I’m going to have to market myself.

  12. What a great post – and a great experience this last month has been. As for your questions…Yes, I would absolutely reserve some $$ to spend on me and some hip clothes for promotional reasons (of course )

    Thanks for letting me be part of this. It was a ton of fun ( and I learned so much reading all the posts!)

  13. This has been great. Thanks, Christina!

    Someday, I will have no problem spending the time and money preparing myself for the launch of a book!

  14. Reward myself? You won’t have to twist my arm! In fact, for every short story or article I have published now, I give myself a treat: a latte, a pedicure, a new pair of cute flats (can’t have enough shoes!)

    I’m also still catching up on the tour posts and comments. Christina, I’m exhausted for you. What an undertaking!(And thanks, Robin!)
    ~Mary Jo

  15. In response to question 1, I absolutely think I’d deserve the time and investment to to really push through this final stage before book launch. After such an arduous process I can’t imagine not being ready to really ramp it up at this point!

    I appreciate your “instructions”, Christina, on relaxation. You’ve incorporated little bits of this kind of advice all throughout the tour and I think it really sets you apart as being very honest and realistic about the writing process. And that’s what we mamas need!

    Thanks for a fabulous month of blogging!

  16. We’ve all known writers who, while frequently imagining and discussing their futures as book authors or magazine columnists, are almost never caught in the acts of writing or revision, networking, pitching, self-promotion, or soliciting feedback. The idea of being a writer fascinates, but the actuality is a lot of difficult work and persistence—just like being a mama.

    The great thing about Christina’s books of advice is the way she channels aspiring authors’ enthusiasm into the actions that will show results. Christina knows from experience what does and doesn’t pay off in the worlds of freelance writing and book publishing. I applaud her for being so generous with her time and tireless in support of emerging writers. The wise writer learns from role models like Christina and is not surprised that getting published requires an array of skills most people never contemplate.


    Self-publishing is becoming more prevalent and acceptable every year. However, writers often don’t recognize that self-publishing takes many forms, as does traditional publishing. Don’t assume the only choice is between a POD self-publishing service and a major publisher. Explore in depth the variety of book formats and publishers that exist today, so you can make the choice that’s right for you and your work. There are many options, including POD self-publishing, self-publishing large print runs using traditional methods, subsidy or vanity publishers, online document-sharing/social networking sites, blogs (or blooks), ebooks (self-published, ad-supported, and those produced by traditional or digital-only publishers), audiobooks, serially published books, small presses, university presses, and major publishing/media conglomerates.

    In the future, I expect to see more authors uniting to form publishing collectives. Networking with other writers today might eventually lead to publication in a way you wouldn’t have envisioned on your own.

  17. 2nd question: We all have been reading of Christina’s successes and her wisdom. As a beginner writer, I’d like to read a short series on how she got started in becoming published. I’d like to hear about her beginnings as a new writer.

  18. YES! To the first question and I’m sure I’ll have them later but for now, I’ve enjoyed learning about Writer Mama’s journey. Thank you, Christina and to all who hosted ;)

  19. A resounding YES!!! i liken it a little to childbirth, intense labor but in the end, ah, what a joy!

    Your thoughts on e-books as opposed to traditional publishing? I’ve heard a few good things here and there.

    Thank you so much for doing this. What a learning opportunity. I look forward to re-reading the posts and integrating it all somehow.

    Give yourself a medal for this marathon, you deserve it Christina.

  20. Thanks for a fun blog tour, Christina. I have really enjoyed meeting all these bloggers and reading their sites. And winning Writer Mama was fun, too (I have pass it on to someone who doesn’t own it). I haven’t won anything since I was 10 so that was exciting! Thanks.

  21. These are great comments. And thanks for the suggestions too. Perhaps now is a good time to confess that I will be:

    Publishing the entries from this blog tour as an e-book (after further rewriting, editing and the addition of images from both my book writing and promotion process). I will give all of the blog tour hostesses a free copy along with another gift and a special badge for being chosen.

    Starting a publishing collective for the writer mamas who have been loyal followers and fans for the past two+ years. Still working out the details of that but hope to announce it by the end of April.

    As far as self-publishing goes, I encourage everyone to read the current issue of Writer’s Digest magazine–but hurry, it won’t be out much longer. There is a long, helpful feature section on self-publishing.

    Lots of pros and cons to self publishing. But I could only give a specific opinion after a discussion. If you would like to do this, please consider reserving my time. I’m happy to talk about it.

    Thank you so much, everyone for participating! I really appreciate your time and support. And if you can spread the word about how valuable Writer Mama has been to your writing career, I always appreciate it.

    Come on over for the blog tour wrap up tomorrow!

  22. Well, Christina, I can’t wait to hear about the publishing collective for writer mamas. Readers might think I had the inside scoop on the project, based on my comment above, but of course it’s news to me as well. I’m glad we’re on the same page.

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